Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Tutorial for Newly-Diagnosed Food Allergy Patients

Someone recently asked me, "Where do I begin?" Well, probably where we all begin. Completely freaked out.

1. Take it slowly. Don't expect perfection and don't beat yourself up for not knowing sooner. Especially when it's your child, you suddenly feel guilty that he or she suffered, and that you didn't know. Understand that, as we learn, we make mistakes. And that's okay.

2. Figure out what you/they can eat. With *most* allergies, you will be fine with fruits, veggies, rice, potatoes (white and sweet), chicken, beef, and pork. Go out and stock up. Buy raisins for snacks.

3. Ask around about the rest. Find a bread that works for you (you don't have to start out making your own, there is likely a frozen variety in your local natural foods store), a pasta, maybe some cookies.

4. Add other things slowly. Work up to making pizza crusts. Find out what you really miss and Google recipes for it.

5. Remember cross-contamination. Clean the crumbs out of your silverware drawer. Don't put GF bread in your regular toaster. If you haven't completely eliminated the allergen from your home, then be sure to use separate utensils, maybe separate butter containers (or squeeze variety is helpful), make the GF version first. Some people go as far as having separate pans for GF foods, but I've found that if I can really wash something, it's safe for us.

6. Hit your library. Check out books that will help you learn more about living with your particular allergy.

7. Find a vitamin. I think Target brand children's chewables are wheat and dairy free. They do have dyes in them, though, so I don't give them to my kids. Any suggestions?

8. Which brings me around to my next point - keep asking for help. The best thing about this blog is all of the advice and comments I've gotten.

13 comments:

K in the Mirror said...

This is a good list. Not too overwhelming, but covers the basics.

One thing I would add- if a pan is non-stick and has been scratched with utensils or whatever, it makes my mom react. She does have to use separate pans that are all metal. But not everybody has that same problem, I think.

Tera said...

Try the "Lil' Critter" gummy bear vitamins. I've got them at health food stores and even Walmart. They are free or dairy, soy, eggs, wheat, etc, etc.. and have no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. And,as a bonus, they taste good.

Tera said...

Ooooh, this is an autism site but has a lot of info on gluten free stuff. Maybe you'll find something useful:
http://gfcf-diet.talkaboutcuringautism.org/index.html

You might want to post it or share it with others. There is a list of common hidden sources of gluten.

:-)Tera

Tenille said...

Thanks, Tera and K! :)

jim said...

We buy Kirkman Labs vitamins and have it shipped. A little bit pricier but it's one of those things I'm willing to spend more on.

Li & David said...

Great advice, especially the last point. It's so easy to be overwhelmed by all of this allergy/intolerance stuff. It helps to know others are in the same predicament, and have learned valuable lessons they are willing to share.

Beth said...

Thanks so much for #1! I can totally derail myself with guilt. Totally unproductive! Your list was down to earth and very hopeful! Thanks again.

Marc of the Web said...

Thanks so much for your wonderful advice, Tenille! This will be very helpful.

Milehimama said...

I use Tall Tree vitamins from Country Life. You can get them at Vitamin Shoppe but they are cheaper online.

I'm a little scared of the gummy vitamins, truthfully, after that lead scare a while back. Plus the brands I've seen, you have to eat more than one to get the amount of vitamins needed.

It's also helpful to look in unusual places for things and always keep your eyes openaa. My oldest can't have MSG, artificial colors, or BHT/BHA/TBHQ. I've found all natural non-colored fruit rollups at Dollar Tree, and NutThins crackers for $1 at Big Lots.

Kim said...

Milehimama -
The manufacturer doesn't have to list these products if they are used in the treatment of the packaging material. My DD and I have both been on Feingold for a little over 3 yrs - which basically is a program which researches food additives. If you are anyone else is interested - email me anytime :-)

JamieLynn said...

We don't do anything artificial in our house either...

We use Little Critter's Gummy Vits, Calcium+D and Immune C... we also buy these ate Costco so get bottles close to 240 count (depending on which variety) for $10.

The GFCF kids also get DHA... for this we use Nordic Natural (others, including Little Critters) just don't work as well. I have several posts here about it:


http://looksgoodinpolkadots.wordpress.com/category/supplemental-nutrition/

Tenille said...

We've had really good luck with the Lil Critter vitamins so far. They are easy to find, anyway.

Wish we had a Costco...

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